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Staiduk
2006-Mar-28, 03:47 AM
'Lo all!

I decided to spend a little time to myself today; so I
got up early and took the bus to Casino Niagara and
make a little money.

I don't mention it often; but I'm a pretty good
blackjack player. OK; I'm a pretty damn good
blackjack player; I love the game. My success rate
ranges between 6.5 and 7 winning sessions out of 10.

I calculate a 'winning' session as earning float X 2
at the tables. In other words; starting with a
standard float of $300, if I earn whatever I used of
that float back and make an additional $300 on the
say; it's a 'win'.

(Side note: Blackjack doesn't have much to do with the
story, but I love the game so I'm going to ramble. :) )

The trick to playing blackjack successfully is *not*
playing the cards. That's important, but proper card
strategy can be learned in about half an hour. No - in
order to win, you need to know two things: playing the
table and money management.

Playing the table is knowing what to bet depending on
how hot the dealer is. If he's hot - in other words;
if he's winning - bet low to conserve your chips. Once
play picks up, start increasing your bet in calculated
amounts to maximize your winnings. It's more art than
science - I don't believe in any of that 'woo-woo' stuff; but I do
believe there is karma at the tables - when the table
'feels' like it's winning, bet accordingly. It works,
though any statistician would laugh at you. The surest
way to lose is to make big swings in your betting;
i.e. putting down $100 because you know you're going
to win this time - bad play there. Good bettors have a
steady strategy and stick to it like glue.

The other thing is money management - the key to
blackjack. Most people win a good sum, then get
enthusiastic and blow it again. Getting enthusiastic
kills. I'm one of the flattest players you'll ever see
at a blackjack table - I can get blackjack on a $500
bet and not bat an eye. What I do is this: I play with
float until I win back float + 2/3rds. IOW, float is
$300, so I play until I hit $500. At that point, I
colour up my float and put it away; not to be touched
again. I play with the remaining chips. When *that*
pile makes float + 2/3rds; repeat. That way, if you
start losing you have an automatic floor - when you
run out of chips, you leave the table. No dipping into
your pulled chips - they're your float and profit.

On average, a winning day nets me between $400-700
profit. Good days average $2000, but they're rare -
maybe twice in a year.

Anyhoo, I was playing today and doing not badly. I
held around the float for about 2 hours, then got in a
good streak. A bad streak shut me down, and I stepped
back from the table with a profit of $400. When that
happens, time to change games to let the blackjack
karma reset itself, metaphysically speaking. :D

My other game is Let It Ride. A loser's game, any
statistician will tell you. Thing is, I win at the
game. I almost never step back with a loss. Don't ask
me why, the cards just like me.

Let It Ride is a form of noncompetetive poker. It
works like this: The player places 3 times his bet in
three little circles. IOW, if my bet is $10, I'll
place 3 $10 piles. Each player is then given three
cards face down and two common cards for the table.
Look at the flop - if there's nothing of value there -
lowest winning hand is a 10-value pair - he can pull
back one bet. If it's good he can 'Let It Ride' - hence
the name of the game. After the dealer goes down the
table, he turns one common card up - the Turn. Players
can then elect to pull the second bet back if they
still have nothing. After pulls are completed; the
dealer turns the River and the players' cards. All
winning bets are given out, losers collected and the
game starts over. (There's a bonus bet there as well;
but I never play it. Little point - not enough win
incentive.)

So anyway, Let It Ride is a nice relaxing way to spend
some time and recoup from the blackjack table. Well;
after my first blackjack session I wandered over to
the Let It Ride table, sat down and coloured down a
black chip. Well; it wasn't a good series at all. Out
of $100, I made very little back - just the odd
backdoor pair now and then. Just enough to extend the
life a little. Normally I play $10 bets, but the cards
were so poor I was playing $5, to extend chip life.
Finally, after about an hour I've more or less given
up on this session. I've $45 left (of the original
$100; the rest of the profit wasn't touched), the
cards are still poor.

So what the heck - I'm ready for blackjack again, so I
place the remainder of the chips up - $15 per spot.
The cards come out - I must say I love the
'whrruppp-whrruppp' sound of the deal machine and the
fact you actually handle the cards - and once the deck
is placed I picked up my cards and looked at them.
Bottom was a 4. Not promising at all. So I spread them
and my heart stops - so are the other two. Holy snakes,
a natural three!!

I've got quite a few threes playing, everyone does;
it's fairly common. But a NATURAL three opens the door
to the much more valuable hands - full house (very
unlikely) and 4 - you can guess the odds on getting
that! But hey - I'm back in it; I just won $135!

Anyway, I let it ride, of course, and the dealer turns
the Turn. A 7. Then he turns the River, and I go right
through the roof - it's the last 4!

WOOOOOHOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

At 50-1 odds; that was $2250 on one hand!

Yabba dabba ding ding, zippy zippy hoo haa......

Ahem.

OK; so in the grand scheme of things a 2 grand hand
might not be Big Money but it sure was nice! When I
want back to the blackjack tables I got killed and
wound up getting back on the bus with $2300 even.

Now THAT was a niiiiiiiice day!

:D :D :D :D

Dave

(P.S. Sorry - still in gloat mode. I just hadda tell
everyone! :D )

The Supreme Canuck
2006-Mar-28, 03:56 AM
Bwa! Good on you!

Swift
2006-Mar-28, 02:54 PM
Congrats Staiduk, but I think this means you buy the next round. ;)

When I saw the thread title, I thought it was going to be some stuff about reptiles. :(

farmerjumperdon
2006-Mar-28, 04:03 PM
Congrats Staiduk, but I think this means you buy the next round. ;)

When I saw the thread title, I thought it was going to be some stuff about reptiles. :(

Me too - so I'll throw in a repilian anecdote.

A couple springs ago I was cleaning up an old woodpile and came across a nest of little red snakes. It was pretty cool out, so they were slow moving, and I oblidgedly toyed with them a bit before they all came out of their slumber and slithered away.

A few days later I was chatting with one fo the neighbors, who has been in the area longer than me. I asked him what they call those little red snakes I'd seen.

He said "We call them Little Red Snakes."l

farmerjumperdon
2006-Mar-28, 04:31 PM
You cite an interesting mix of statistical strategy and gut feeling. Do you see the contradiction in the following statement?

"I don't believe in any of that 'woo-woo' stuff; but I do
believe there is karma at the tables - . . ."

From everything I've read and experienced, the only way to get a statistical advantage on the house is to count cards so you know if the remaining deck is long or short of 10-pointers, and bet accordingly. Anything else and the house has the edge.

The money management tips are right on the money, except for the gut feel part. The dealer might have hit a few lucky cards on the draw, but if you're deep into the shoe and the deck is long on 10-pointers; I'd ignore the guts and up the bets.

Swift
2006-Mar-28, 07:04 PM
Me too - so I'll throw in a repilian anecdote.

A couple springs ago I was cleaning up an old woodpile and came across a nest of little red snakes. It was pretty cool out, so they were slow moving, and I oblidgedly toyed with them a bit before they all came out of their slumber and slithered away.

A few days later I was chatting with one fo the neighbors, who has been in the area longer than me. I asked him what they call those little red snakes I'd seen.

He said "We call them Little Red Snakes."l
:lol:
You might like this article Snakes of Wisconsin (http://s142412519.onlinehome.us/uw/pdfs/G3139.PDF)
I wonder if they were Northern Redbellies (http://www.dnr.state.wi.us/org/caer/ce/eek/critter/reptile/redbellysnake.htm)?

Staiduk
2006-Mar-28, 07:33 PM
You cite an interesting mix of statistical strategy and gut feeling. Do you see the contradiction in the following statement?

"I don't believe in any of that 'woo-woo' stuff; but I do
believe there is karma at the tables - . . ."

From everything I've read and experienced, the only way to get a statistical advantage on the house is to count cards so you know if the remaining deck is long or short of 10-pointers, and bet accordingly. Anything else and the house has the edge.

The money management tips are right on the money, except for the gut feel part. The dealer might have hit a few lucky cards on the draw, but if you're deep into the shoe and the deck is long on 10-pointers; I'd ignore the guts and up the bets.

...and do you know what; I'd be inclined to agree with you if it didn't work. ;) Call it what you will; but if the table 'feels' like there's good karma present; the hand averages go up. We can talk all day about statistics, but that doesn't change tha fact that - for instance - there are some dealers you simply can't win against, and some you really like to see.
As another example there's no statistical reason I should prefer playing anchor; but when I do play anchor I win more often than if I play lead or a middle spot. Casino rules and tables are identical from casino to casino but when I'm playing Vegas; I'll win regularly in the Excalibur, Rio and Paris but never win in Caesar's Palace or the Venetian. People may speculate that one changes play based on one's perceptions, in this case that doesn't apply - wherever I am; I play like a machine, with set rules of play and betting. :)

Next: Forget about counting. Some places still use shoes; but they're disappearing fast. Autoshufflers are used now and that makes both counting and the superstition of 'playing the other players' obsolete. (Though people still try).

Finally, forget about single-hand strategy - that's the easy bit. :) Like you said; the money management is the key to winning over the long term; as is gauging risk. Each individual hand actually means very little in the long run. The trick to winning is to gauge the risk against the reward and adjust your play to that. For example, the One Cardinal Rule in blackjack: Never split tens. You split tens in a game and people will leave the table in disgust.
However; this is where gauging the risk comes in. If, for instance, I'm dealt a pair of faces against a dealer's bust card (5 or six, not 4 in this case), if the table is hot I'll go ahead and split them because the dealer's history of busting is high. Double risk true; but double reward. That's tournament play as opposed to cautious play. If the table is cold; I'll hold off. Heh heh - I had that argument with an elderly gent last week when he was being quite rude over my choices. He even dug out the rule book he carried with him and waved it under my nose: "The book says never split tens!"
"I know what the book says, Sir," I responded, "But considering I'm up five hundred per cent after the splits; I'll stick with my strategy, thanks." :)

farmerjumperdon
2006-Mar-29, 01:23 PM
Can't argue with winning can you/

Thanx for the snake links Swift. The redbelly sounds right, except for the part about only being 8 to 10" long. I think the adult was almost double that.

We did find a good-sized bullsnake dead on the road last summer. Quite the elegant animal, it was about 3 1/2'. We coiled it up on a big boulder and left it there. The scales must be very good for moisture retention, because it took quite a few days before it started to stink. Then it disappeared - coyotes found it I bet.

Staiduk
2006-Mar-29, 02:28 PM
We don't have any really unique snakes in Ontario; of the varieties I know we have your garden-variety garter snakes, some absolutely gorgeous, brilliant green grass snakes and the massasauga rattler. There must be others, I just don't know about them. :) I've never seen the last one - the rattler - live; it's exceedingly rare now and AFAIK receeding northward. Too bad - just because something's venomous people insist it must be 'bad'. :(

I like garter snakes though - I can spend hours letting one wind in and around my fingers. I'd love to go to Saskatchewan some spring and watch the huge hibernation masses? pits? Whatever - the huge colonies of hibernating snakes wake up from their winter sleep. They're absolutely amazing creatures - all snakes are. I mean - what an amazing form of locomotion. I know technically how slithering works; but it just seems so...I don't know, magical in a way.

Cheers! :)

farmerjumperdon
2006-Mar-29, 02:44 PM
I like garter snakes though - I can spend hours letting one wind in and around my fingers.

And they're so cute when you find a little tiny one, and it keeps trying to bite you. The little darlings!

suntrack2
2006-Mar-29, 02:59 PM
"I just hadda tell everyone", (in your PS: above) here only I could not understand, rest is very fine.

Staiduk
2006-Mar-29, 03:29 PM
And they're so cute when you find a little tiny one, and it keeps trying to bite you. The little darlings!

Yes, I got bitten by them a couple of times, surprised the heck out of me, I didn't even know they had teeth! :D


"I just hadda tell everyone", (in your PS: above) here only I could not understand, rest is very fine.

'Hadda' = 'had to'. :)